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The capture of the Warwick near Martinique
Great Britain (Royal Navy)
|Name : Warwick (60)||Molyneaux Shuldham (1717-1798)||Captured|
Royaume de France (Marine Royale)
|Name : Le Prudent (74)||Charles-Alexandre Morell d'Aubigny (1699-1781)||Squadron Flagship|
|Name : L'Atalante (32)||Louis Charles de Besné (1708-1794)|
|Name : Le Zéphyr (28)||Charles-Auguste Levassor de La Touche (1712-1788)|
Chevalier d'Aubigny sailed from Rochefort in the Prudent of 74 guns for Martineco, accompanied by two frigates, the Atalante of 34 guns, and the Zephyr of 30 guns. The Zephyr being separated from the other two met the Warwick, who mistaking him for a merchantman, despised him, and would not open his ports till the Zephyr fired a broadside at him. The captain then perceiving his mistake, immediately opened his ports, but the Zephyr guessing how the enemy would act, made so good use of their small arms, that the crew of the English ship could not keep the deck, and disappeared. The noise of the firing brought the Prudent and the Atalante to his assistance; up on which the English captain, seeing he could not escape, declared he would surrender but only to the commander in chief. The Chevalier d'Aubigny then made a signal to signify that he would engage the Warwick, if the captain refused to surrender to the frigate upon which the English captain, fearing the event of the engagement struck to the Zephyr.
The Warwick of 60 guns, Capt. ________ who had been cruising off the coast of Martinico, and had taken several French prizes, fell in with the Prudent man of war 74 guns, who had in company with her a 64 gun ship, and a frigate of 36 guns; the Warwick perceiving herself thus overmatched, endeavoured to get clear by making a running fight, and actually had got clear of the large ships; but the frigate being ordered to chase, came up under her stern and raked her terribly; by which means she was kept in play till the Prudent again came up, and the struck having lost her captain, and a great number of men.